My Healthcare India
Quality Care & Quality information

Diseases » Depression



What’s depression feel like? Is there any permanent way to get cure from depression? What are the signs of depression? 

These are some questions which arise with the name depression, this article focus on every part of depression.

Certainty that an acute episode [of depression] will last only a week, a month, even a year, would change everything. It would still be a ghastly ordeal, but the worst thing about it -- the incessant yearning for death, the compulsion toward suicide -- would drop away. But no, a limited depression, a depression with hope, is a contradiction. The experience of convulsive pain, along with the conviction that it will never end except in death -- that is the definition of a severe depression” By George Scialabba.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorder present in the world. According to WHO, depression is on the top of the list as the commonest disease worldwide. It is seen in both genders but it is more common in females than males. There is normal reaction for some difficult or critical situations in life like losing someone close or divorce etc. it is called as sadness which is very normal. But when this sadness keeps on increasing and is present everyday with no reason, is considered as depression. When person feels difficult to carry on with daily routine work and continue to remain sad, gloomy is considered to be depressed.

"The blues “is a condition where a person feels for long period of time, disheartened, unhappy, indifferent, hopeless or not interested in life in general. Depression is serious illness which needs treatment.

Many people avoid taking treatment for depressive illness. Many people suffer silently and don’t know how to come out of depression, some may even don’t know exactly what is wrong with them. Many people confuse Depression with just mere sadness, but it is more than sadness. People suffering from depression might experience noteworthy weight issues like sudden weight loss or weight gain, sleeplessness or more sleeping, less energetic, difficult in concentration, she may feel that she is worthless or extreme guilt and repeated thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts.

There are some types of depressive disorders.

  1. Major depression: There are critical symptoms that inhibit with your capability to work, and some regular activity like eating, sleeping, studying. Person suffering from this may have single or several such episodes.
  2. Persistent depressive disorder: this type of depression lasts for as a minimum for 2 years. A person suffering with this type of depressive disorder may have some events of major depression with times of not much severe symptoms also.

Some forms of depression are circumstantial like:

  1. Psychotic depression: this type of depression is accompanied with some form of psychosis.
  2. Postpartum depression: this is experienced by women after delivery due to hormonal changes and physical changes which takes place after giving birth.
  3. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): this type of depression is uniquely seen in winters when there is less natural light {sunlight}

Causes of depression:

Many times depression is caused not only by single factor but by a combination of factors like genetic, environmental, biological and psychological.

  • Genetics: Sometimes it is found that depression like disorder run in families. First degree relatives of the people suffering from this illness are more at risk to suffer the same. Genetics research shows that threat for depression results from the effect of several genes acting together with environment or other factors.
  • Some difficult events in life: Some incidence like joblessness, separation, poverty though these types of events may lead to severe type of depression typically only in people who are predisposed to it.
  • Biological factor: People who suffer from depression have less or too much of brain chemical which is called as neurotransmitter. Changes in this chemical may contribute widely to depression.
  • Cognitive factor: People who have low self-esteem or are more of negative thinking types of personality are more prone to this illness.
  • Stress: When person fails to adapt the new difficult situation in life or environment leading to depression.
  • Trauma in Childhood: This factor can cause changes for long term in brain, this affects the responses to situation of fear and stress in life. Other past incidences also increase the risk, like attempt to suicide or any type of abuse like physical, sexual or any substance
  • Drug abuse: This also include consumption of alcohol, drugs like amphetamines can complement depression or may result in depression.
  •  Head injury
  • Past history of depression: People who have already suffered from an incident of major depression are more prominent for of a succeeding one

Prevention from depression: 

There is not any particular way or method to prevent depression. You can take steps to change your current lifestyle for better mental health. Some of the following strategies may help:

  • You should take some steps to control your stress, you should try to increase your flexibility and also raise your self-esteem by thinking positive.
  • You should try regular yoga and meditation for managing negative thoughts and stress.
  • You should learn to share tough situations with family and friends to relieve some stress.
  • You should have good and balanced social life, People suffering from depression usually withdraw themselves from social life which worsen the situation.
  • Many people avoid to take treatment for this disorder one should take quick actions at the initial sign of this disorder to prevent depression from getting worse.
  • You should stay active, it will not only help you in maintain good physical health but it brings change in mood, improve anxiety and depression like disorder.
  • You should note the intake of alcohol as people who are more prone to alcohol should avoid alcohol completely as alcohol is mood altering, which depresses the brain and can lead to alcohol abuse.
  • You should maintain good lifestyle by having proper balanced diet with adequate physical exercise and good sleep which will help and prevent depression.

Treatment of depression: 

Urgent depression treatment is important when symptoms are severe or suicidal level, but treating depression naturally for mild to moderate type are preferred by many people these days.

Some of the following ways may help you come out of depression or at least there can be improvement with your current situation.

  • Exercise: “Exercise, if done correctly, is one of the most promising natural treatments for depression. It elevates mood quickly and reliably. It is believed that this takes place because exercise affects the same neurotransmitter system that medication does," says Dr. Shadick. Studies shows exercise help relieves the symptoms of depression, it is as good as action of antidepressant medicine.
  • Regular practice of Meditation and yoga: Research shows by regular practice of yoga and meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety which are triggers for depression. By performing breathing exercise, muscle relaxing exercise one can get relieve from stress and sense of positivism and well being can be experienced. Studies shows that chances of recurrence of major depression can be reduced with regular meditation.
  • Light therapy: For SAD (seasonal affective disorder) type of depression, person sits near light coming from a box which is same like natural light and it is done regularly with increasing the limit of time. It does not cure the depression but relieves the symptoms of depression.
  • Mood diary: Dr. Doraiswamy recommends keeping a mood diary. "This is a tool used to train someone to keep track of positive things that are happening in their lives and not let single negative events wear them down," he says.   

By maintaining this diary regularly, it may help you generate the positive thoughts in your life and relieve negativity pattern of thinking.

  • Acupuncture therapy: Research shows this type of therapy is useful for postpartum depression type.
  • Depression support group: When you meet with people suffering from same illness you get the feeling that you are not alone in this path. There are many groups which educate you about depression and help you to deal with it.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: It is short therapy, sessions are 15 to 20. In this your thought process is studied and the trigger point is controlled so it improves your thought process and reactions to situation.
  • Serotonin-improving diet:  By eating serotonin rich diet you can raise your serotonin levels of brain. Serotonin-improving foods include: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, consuming healthy fats, high protein diet, particularly proteins which are high in tryptophan.